Author Topic: Introverts with kids  (Read 1132 times)

Lago

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Introverts with kids
« on: October 20, 2017, 04:58:16 PM »
I am an introvert, but now that I have 2 kids, I find that I am never able to get alone time. I am a stay-at-home mom and my husband works from home, which was an amazing scenario when we just had one baby that napped, but now we have a 4 year old that doesn't nap and a 1 year old that is super attention needy. My husband works from home, but he takes breaks and reads the news and just chills in his quiet office. I feel like I never get a break and I almost want to go back to work just for a quiet 1 hour lunch break in my car. Any tips on how to keep my sanity? The kids already go to a half-day mother's day out program 2 days of the week, but it never seems long enough. I really love my kids and I love teaching my older one, but I get worn out when I'm around them all day.

jennaw

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 10:28:02 PM »
Some ideas: get your husband to cover lunch some days during the week so you can get a little break, get some motherís helpers or babysitters on a regular basis, arrange play dates for your kids so the kids can entertain each other, institute quiet time for your four year old for an hour in the afternoons, go back to work. Part-time work might help you get the break you need without just adding to your overall fatigue like I find it does for me. I know these steps can be hard to take so set small goals and donít try to do everything at once.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2017, 05:20:36 AM »
It sounds to me like your husband needs to step up more.  Afterall, you need to take short breaks from your work day too.  Organize things with him so that he does morning wakeup/breakfast etc 3 or 4 mornings a week so that you can have a shower and drink you coffee in peace.  Then, during the work day, your husband should devote several of his short breaks to taking the kids for 10 minutes while you take a break and veg out and he should also take the kids to the park a couple of lunchtimes a week while you do the same.  I assume that he does his share of dinner/bath/bedtime in the evenings?

I'm mostly an extrovert WOHM but can't imagine anything more hellish than being a SAHM with no breaks at all during the day year in and year out. 


Livingthedream55

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2017, 07:08:11 AM »
It sounds to me like your husband needs to step up more. Afterall, you need to take short breaks from your work day too.  Organize things with him so that he does morning wakeup/breakfast etc 3 or 4 mornings a week so that you can have a shower and drink you coffee in peace.  Then, during the work day, your husband should devote several of his short breaks to taking the kids for 10 minutes while you take a break and veg out and he should also take the kids to the park a couple of lunchtimes a week while you do the same.  I assume that he does his share of dinner/bath/bedtime in the evenings?

I'm mostly an extrovert WOHM but can't imagine anything more hellish than being a SAHM with no breaks at all during the day year in and year out.

+1   I would even suggest you create a large family schedule (I'm visualizing a poster) with a typical week that includes your lunch (or other) breaks noted as a friendly reminder to your husband.



formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 09:51:07 AM »
I went back to work because I couldn't handle a 9-month old who was incredibly attention-needy.

I also learned to put myself in "mommy time-out".  "Mommy is starting to feel upset/angry/nervous/irritated.  Mommy needs a time-out to calm down."  I'd put them in a play pen or back in the crib with a few toys and go to my room for 15 minutes and revel in blessed quiet.  The kids were THRILLED that moms get time-outs too.

I also made my kids lay down for "quiet time" every afternoon even when they had officially outgrown naps.  They could look at books or play quietly, but they had to be in their beds.  That gave me an hour or two in the afternoons to decompress.

We'd also go for walks - the toddler in the stroller and the preschooler walking.  I'd challenge her to see how fast she could run to the stop sign, and I'd leisurely follow.  The little one was content to watch the big one run, so I could walk in (mostly) peace, and the big one would wear her little self out.

And, yes, your husband may need to be educated on what you need.  I don't think they realize that the primary caregiver needs a break too.

Boldly leading a blended family into (future) financial independence

dphngbr

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 11:32:57 AM »
These ages are so tough. 

A few things we did:  A bouncy castle (if you have room for it) was worth every penny -- they will play in that thing for 30+ minutes by themselves.  If you can tolerate the clean up afterwards, a few containers of beans/rice/corn and cardboard tubes/funnels/measuring cups and will keep them occupied for awhile.  I'm also not ashamed to say I used (educational) TV for 30-60 minutes to keep them occupied in the early evening while I was making dinner, or educational iPad apps for the 4 year old when the younger one was napping (so I could take a break too.) 

And I never found mothers-day out programs to be that relaxing either!  Between dropping off and picking up and the temptation to run errands in the meantime, it never seemed that worthwhile in the end. 

BAM

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2017, 04:21:59 PM »
Few things that worked for me:

Talk to your DH. He may just not realize that things have changed since your first child outgrew naps.

Set up your schedule to include some breaks without needing your husband. Quiet time has worked wonders for me - I believe someone else suggested it too. We started by having them on a blanket in the living room so I could keep an eye on them while they learned to stay quiet and contained. Only quiet toys/books allowed. A later morning start might help. For my oldest two, I put an alarm clock in their room at about age 4 and told them they couldn't come out in the morning until it read 7-0-0 (make sure they know if it's after 7:00, they can come out : ).

Possibly find someone to swap with. A friend and I used to take alternate Fridays and babysit each others kids. We'd get part of a Friday off one week and then babysit the next. I actually found babysitting a break since the kids were entertained with new friends and I just had to be nearby.


MBot

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2017, 01:12:12 PM »
I went back to work because I couldn't handle a 9-month old who was incredibly attention-needy.

I also learned to put myself in "mommy time-out".  "Mommy is starting to feel upset/angry/nervous/irritated.  Mommy needs a time-out to calm down."  I'd put them in a play pen or back in the crib with a few toys and go to my room for 15 minutes and revel in blessed quiet.  The kids were THRILLED that moms get time-outs too.

I also made my kids lay down for "quiet time" every afternoon even when they had officially outgrown naps.  They could look at books or play quietly, but they had to be in their beds.  That gave me an hour or two in the afternoons to decompress.

We'd also go for walks - the toddler in the stroller and the preschooler walking.  I'd challenge her to see how fast she could run to the stop sign, and I'd leisurely follow.  The little one was content to watch the big one run, so I could walk in (mostly) peace, and the big one would wear her little self out.

And, yes, your husband may need to be educated on what you need.  I don't think they realize that the primary caregiver needs a break too.

+1

So much good advice on this thread and especially your post!

katscratch

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2017, 06:35:47 PM »
My son's dad is very extroverted and was always super respectful of my need for solitary time. Neither of us predicted how dramatic my needs would become after having a kiddo!

My son's now an adult, but boy do I remember some doozy choices that were an exasperated last ditch effort to regain sanity -- like locking myself in the bathroom crying while my husband was at work and my poor 2 year old cried outside the door screaming for me. That turned out not to be so relaxing, ha.

I wish I would have had the presence of mind then to realize that it wasn't being a mom (my belief at the time) but that it was needing more quiet alone time to decompress that was my real issue. If I had recognized it, a conversation with my husband would have made things so much easier in those first few years. He eventually thought of it himself and when I went back to work he started going to bed early with our kiddo so I could go to a movie. The first time I came home to a note and them fast asleep was one of the best days of my life to that point, haha! A quiet dark theater, nobody touching me, and candy! Bliss!

So I'd recommend having a frank discussion with your husband about how you're feeling lately and try to rearrange both of your working schedules to allow each of you down time alone.

Meesh

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 11:00:49 PM »
Completely agree about getting your husband more on board. It sounds like he's hiding in the office. Go kick him out and hide in there yourself a bit. lol

I have my kiddo all day but when DH comes home I take a loooong beak. They cook dinner together and play games, go do groceries etc even when DS was a baby. I read and watch netflix in the bedroom but I'm there if I'm needed. Then we eat together. On weekends I'm exhausted so DH takes him out to the park or zoo, ice cream, usually both Sat and Sun.

Since your's is at home he should be having lunch with the kiddos. Spending all that time away in the office, a break to see the LOs should be good for everyone. They have playtime together and you have time alone. This is exactly what we did when DH worked from home.

Something else that helps drastically for me is the YMCA. They watch your children if you're a member! For me that was worth every penny and more. I go in a few times a week and drop off the kiddo. Usually I exercise. Sometimes I read a book in the lobby, other moms have confessed that I am not the only one and stopped feeling guilty. In the mornings there are tons of kids and when I come to pick him up he doesn't ever want to leave. For a while I was going there basically every day just to give myself a break.

I also use a version of quite play. Where I expect my son to play alone and he knows it.

I also highly recommend play dates. Find a mom you connect with and go to the park (not houses its too stressful hosting) and talk while they run around together. Not exactly an introvert/space thing but another way to take a break. As you get closer you'll find you start to lean on each other a little more. Watch each other's kids etc.

Carving out time for yourself is crucial. Without it you risk becoming resentful of your family.